57
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      The calmodulin pathway and evolution of elongated beak morphology in Darwin's finches.

      Nature

      Animals, Beak, anatomy & histology, embryology, metabolism, Biological Evolution, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, Calmodulin, genetics, Chick Embryo, Cluster Analysis, Finches, classification, Gene Expression Regulation, Models, Biological, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Signal Transduction

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPubMed
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          A classic textbook example of adaptive radiation under natural selection is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin's finches (Fringillidae, Passeriformes), whose primary diversity lies in the size and shape of their beaks. Thus, ground finches have deep and wide beaks, cactus finches have long and pointed beaks (low depth and narrower width), and warbler finches have slender and pointed beaks, reflecting differences in their respective diets. Previous work has shown that even small differences in any of the three major dimensions (depth, width and length) of the beak have major consequences for the overall fitness of the birds. Recently we used a candidate gene approach to explain one pathway involved in Darwin's finch beak morphogenesis. However, this type of analysis is limited to molecules with a known association with craniofacial and/or skeletogenic development. Here we use a less constrained, complementary DNA microarray analysis of the transcripts expressed in the beak primordia to find previously unknown genes and pathways whose expression correlates with specific beak morphologies. We show that calmodulin (CaM), a molecule involved in mediating Ca2+ signalling, is expressed at higher levels in the long and pointed beaks of cactus finches than in more robust beak types of other species. We validated this observation with in situ hybridizations. When this upregulation of the CaM-dependent pathway is artificially replicated in the chick frontonasal prominence, it causes an elongation of the upper beak, recapitulating the beak morphology of the cactus finches. Our results indicate that local upregulation of the CaM-dependent pathway is likely to have been a component of the evolution of Darwin's finch species with elongated beak morphology and provide a mechanistic explanation for the independence of beak evolution along different axes. More generally, our results implicate the CaM-dependent pathway in the developmental regulation of craniofacial skeletal structures.

          Related collections

          Most cited references10

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryo

            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Genetic and developmental basis of evolutionary pelvic reduction in threespine sticklebacks.

            Hindlimb loss has evolved repeatedly in many different animals by means of molecular mechanisms that are still unknown. To determine the number and type of genetic changes underlying pelvic reduction in natural populations, we carried out genetic crosses between threespine stickleback fish with complete or missing pelvic structures. Genome-wide linkage mapping shows that pelvic reduction is controlled by one major and four minor chromosome regions. Pitx1 maps to the major chromosome region controlling most of the variation in pelvic size. Pelvic-reduced fish show the same left-right asymmetry seen in Pitx1 knockout mice, but do not show changes in Pitx1 protein sequence. Instead, pelvic-reduced sticklebacks show site-specific regulatory changes in Pitx1 expression, with reduced or absent expression in pelvic and caudal fin precursors. Regulatory mutations in major developmental control genes may provide a mechanism for generating rapid skeletal changes in natural populations, while preserving the essential roles of these genes in other processes.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Bmp4 and morphological variation of beaks in Darwin's finches.

              Darwin's finches are a classic example of species diversification by natural selection. Their impressive variation in beak morphology is associated with the exploitation of a variety of ecological niches, but its developmental basis is unknown. We performed a comparative analysis of expression patterns of various growth factors in species comprising the genus Geospiza. We found that expression of Bmp4 in the mesenchyme of the upper beaks strongly correlated with deep and broad beak morphology. When misexpressed in chicken embryos, Bmp4 caused morphological transformations paralleling the beak morphology of the large ground finch G. magnirostris.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                16885984
                10.1038/nature04843

                Comments

                Comment on this article